- Johnny Esfeller
IMG Academy student-athletes dominate Junkanoo Bowl in the Bahamas; Alejandro Tabilo wins first career ITF title
At the recent International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junkanoo Bowl, held July 8-13, IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis student-athletes dominated the field. In the boy's draw, three IMG Academy players reached the semifinals. In one semifinal, Alejandro Tabilo of Toronto, Canada took down local player Rasheed Carey, 6-2, 7-5, to advance and assure an all-IMG Academy final. In the other semifinal, Japan's Toshiki Matsuya and Anudeep Kodali of Fayetteville, N.C., squared off against one another as they had done many times before. However, after Kodali won the first game by a 6-4 margin, he had to retire early in the second game. In the final, it was between Matsuya and Tabilo fighting for their first-ever ITF final. Neither player was ready to go home, resulting in a marathon match that lasted three hours and 47 minutes with both players battling fiercely for every point. At the end of the day, Alejandro Tabilo was able to best Matsuya, and take home his first career ITF title by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. After his win, Tabilo reached a career-high ranking of No. 258.
On the girl's side, Nandini Das once again impressed on the ITF stage. Das, playing in only her fourth-ever ITF event was able to reach the semifinals, where she fell to the eventual champion, Simone Pratt of the Bahamas, 6-2, 2-6, 1-6. After only four events, the 14-year old Das is close to putting herself in the top-500, reaching No. 521.
In doubles action, Alejandro Tabilo partnering with Anudeep Kodali made a run to the finals, while on the girl's side, the dup of Nandini Das and Shweta Sangwan reached the semis, while another pair of IMG Academy student-athletes, Elizabeth Sutherland and Maddison Harrison made a run all the way to the finals.
The full slate of players representing IMG Academy in the boy's draw included Alejandro Tabilo (Canada), Tashiki Matsuya (Japan), Anudeep Kodali (USA) and Gabriel Pilones (USA). In the girl's draw, IMG Academy's Nandini Das (India), Shweta Sangwan (India), Swara Kulkarni (India), Elizabeth Sutherland (USA) and Madison Harrison (USA).